"I'm starting with the man in the mirror. " MJ
Up to this point I have been fairly one-sided on the subject of liberty, but I would like to note that there are definitely certain disadvantages to living in a culture dedicated to freedom. Such a culture cannot be all things to all people. For example, elevating liberty as the highest ideal in our country does, by necessity, preclude any other principle from taking precedence over it. There are well-made arguments in support of taking equality as our paramount value, or of sacrificing liberty at the altar of virtue. I don't happen to agree with these points (because I too highly regard my liberty to disagree with them, and them with me), but I can usually appreciate where they are rooted. Equality and virtue are worthy principles which any free society ought to pursue, just not at the expense of the freedom which allows them that pursuit.
These, however, are not the most brutal arguments against liberty, nor they loudest voices calling for its restriction, limitation, or abolition. That dishonor is reserved for... well, we'll get to that shortly.
You see, the hardest part about liberty is that when things aren't going how we'd like them to, there is nowhere else to point the finger. Oh sure, we try to do it all the time, masking our own accountability by couching it in fuzzy terms like "the government" or my personal favorite, "society." These expressions are so familiar they have become cliche: "The government is so crooked," or "Society is really going down the tubes." The fallacy lurking behind these seemingly innocuous terms is that they set up imaginary, shadowy, faceless groups on which to comfortably hang blame. The only problem is, when you are finally able to clear the smoke away, all you really find is a mirror. There is no government other than the one we decided on; there is no society other than you, me, and the neighbors.
Now here is the truth of the matter, the REAL "problem" with liberty: we don't always agree with the neighbors. We don't want them to have their liberty... if they disagree with us. And so, in a tragedy that is repeated every day, thus enters government. You see, government intervention and regulation is the last, best resort for those who want to restrict liberty, to deprive opponents of their freedom to disagree. Government, in this form, is exploited by both the strong and the weak, the majority and the minority--but its purpose is always the same. It is that some of us want to deprive others of us of their liberty. And the coercive force of government intervention is a particularly appealing means to that end.
One important note: as I've stated previously, government SHOULD intervene when a person's liberty is threatened or limited. Again, this is the primary function of government. Sadly, all too often the government becomes the vehicle by which liberty is restricted. And just to reiterate: "the government" is nothing more or less than what we decide it to be. If your liberty, or your neighbor's liberty, our your favorite support group's liberty is restricted, no enemy hath done this. We have. And we can fix it.